In a clinic that focuses on physical medicine and pain relief, reducing inflammation is one of the key aspects of our therapies and treatments. One of the most common forms of supplementation that we get questions about is fish oils. It is important to remember that any form of vitamin or supplementation can be beneficial if used properly, but it’s always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional before using any new product or supplement. With that being said, fish oil supplements are a great way to help aid in your healing process by reducing acute and chronic forms of inflammation in the body.
The long-chain omega-3 fatty acids in fish oils help to relieve inflammation in cardiovascular disease, autoimmune diseases and inflammatory diseases affecting the intestine and other connective tissues. Chronic inflammation in the body can be a cause of joint pain, excess blood clotting and a breakdown of the body tissues. It can also clog the arteries and negatively affect the genes leading to cancer and other conditions. For a long time, sedentary lifestyle and poor diet have been noted to influence the development of inflammation diseases. However, omega 3 fatty acids have been discovered to be the most potent and natural anti-inflammatory that is available. The omega 3 fatty acids act as antioxidants that help to fight free radical damage to cells and tissues. These fatty acids are known to be effective in relieving swelling and reducing inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis, a condition that is characterized by swelling, inflammation, stiffness, pain and the loss of joint functions. Increasing the intake of fish oil can also reduce the level of inflammation associated with ulcerative colitis, a bowel disease characterized by sores also known as ulcers.
Beneficial fish oils can be obtained from either eating fish or taking supplements. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish such as mackerel, salmon, tuna, mullet, sturgeon, anchovy, blue fish, herring, sardines, menhaden and trout.
Experts can disagree on the amount of fish oils / omega 3 fatty acids that one should take daily, but most suggest that 2-3 grams of long chain omega 3 FA’s are safe to take each day. Make sure to consult with a healthcare provider before taking any new form of supplement or medication.